The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had until March 14 to make its phase 1 decision on whether the deal will reduce competition in the UK.
Asda is planning to open 300 convenience stores by the end of 2026, aiming to become a player in the smaller shop market to help drive growth, and creating thousands of new jobs in the process.
Mohsin Issa, Asda’s co-owner said, "Our ambition is to become the convenience destination of choice by providing shoppers great value and a comprehensive and convenient range of products and services under one roof."
The supermarket group had agreed to buy Arthur Foodstores Ltd, which comprises of 129 sites, from Co-Operative for £600 million (€681.7 million) in August last year.
An Asda spokesperson commented, 'The acquisition of these sites is part of our long-term strategy to build a convenience business and bring Asda’s great value in fuel and groceries to more customers and communities throughout the UK. We referred the acquisition to the CMA when it completed last October and look forward to working collaboratively with them in the coming months.'
The acquired stores are between 1,500 and 3,000 square feet in size, with attached petrol stations.
Approximately 2,300 people currently employed by the Co-op will join Asda under TUPE transfer in the coming months following consultation with USDAW, the retailer noted.